Tag Archives: Exclusionary rule pros and cons

Impact Of The Exclusionary Rule On Criminal Cases

Exclusionary rule pros and cons

Impact of exclusionary rule on criminal cases

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states the various provisions under which a security officer can or cannot search a person or investigate into his property. These rules are created to protect the privacy of every citizen. It also prevents the police and government officials from conducting unlawful searches and creating fake evidences. The Exclusionary rule pros and cons and its impacts are discussed below.


The right to privacy of every citizen and foreign national has been enshrined in the Constitution of every democracy and the United States is no different. Every citizen reserves the right to be secure from searches to his house and person by any public authority and others without a warrant recognizing the same. The Fourth Amendment also states that no warrant may be issued without reasonable cause.

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree


Exclusionary rule and the fruit of poisonous tree

This doctrine states that evidence that is obtained illegally should be excluded from court. It further states that evidence collected with the help of the same should be excluded from the court’s proceedings. The evidence was not collected following proper procedure is considered as the poisonous tree; and the evidences that the tree produces are the fruits of the poisonous tree and both are unwelcome in a court of law.

The Purge Taint Doctrine

A person may produce illegal evidence without being aware of the fact that it was an illegal. In such cases, the person can eliminate the taint of having illegally obtained evidence by producing new evidence that is valid. The new evidence should not be part of the poisonous tree.

Officers have often complained that the time taken to secure a warrant is too long and an accused could easily lose evidence in that time. This is one of the most contentious statements against this rule.


Regardless of the exclusionary rule pros and cons, there are certain exceptions that should be considered. The most important among these is the “good faith exception” which states that even if an officer relies on a search warrant in good faith and later realizes that the warrant lacked probable cause, the evidence can still be produced in court.

The “plain view” doctrine states that if a police officer happens to come across substantial evidence in plain view, he can seize it without a warrant and present it in court. The “inevitable discovery doctrine” states that illegally seized evidence can be considered if it would have been seized in a regular police investigation also.

The Exclusionary rule allows citizens to be secure from illegally being framed for criminal cases. A number of unlawful detentions have been prevented following the introduction of this rule.

The Positives And Negatives About Exclusionary Rule

Exclusionary rule pros and cons, law

positives and negatives about the exclusionary rule

The exclusionary rule was formulated during the case between the Weeks and the U.S. This rule prevents the illegal collection of evidence and their submission to the court. This rule was first applied to the case between Mapp an Ohio in 1961. This rule also makes the illegal seizure of evidence and property a legal offense. If it is proved that evidence was gathered illegally, it can be grounds for rejecting such an evidence that can bring down a case against the party against which such evidence was collected.

Exclusionary Rule Pros and Cons

The exlusionary rule has, over the years proved to be an effective tool against the illegal searches and seizures which could have lead to undue harassment of a person. As a constitutional right, the fourth amendment protects you from such forms of abuse of power. Currently it is the only rule that makes the judiciary capable to check for the illegal searches and captures conducted by the police during the investigation of the crime.

Drawbacks of This Rule

In some cases the exclusionary rule creates some troubles also. Justice Scalia wrote to the Supreme Court about the various problems that are created by this rule. The letter explains that the rule could be seen as having a serious negative effect on the powers of the investigating authority to “investigate”. Having to wait for a warrant could give sufficient time for the perpetrators

Exclusionary rule pros and cons, law

law and order in America

of the time to destroy evidence. Even if the evidence is found illegally, the truth cannot be ignored.

Moreover, sometimes it would very difficult to find evidence against powerful people in the right way. This can help some guilty people to escape from the law and enforcement.

The constitution doesn’t saying anything openly about the exclusionary rule that is the right of the public. Due to this, many have questioned constitutional validity of such a rule. A few politicians have tried to bring about a constitutional amendment to try and circumvent the ruling, but haven’t been successful

Results in Increase in Trial Costs

Because of this rule there is a chance for some evidence to be thrown out, so the prosecutors are required to gather more evidence or atleast try to make the evidence seem leagal. This might result in the delay of the trial and a large increase in the cost of investigation.

Hope you got a good idea about the exclusionary rule pros and cons. Students of law would particularly find this topic useful.